(Missourinet St. Louis correspondent Jill Enders contributed to this story)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY- Bayer’s integration of St. Louis County-based Monsanto is underway.

The primary entrance sign at the former Monsanto facility in Creve Coeur was changed to Bayer on August 21, 2018 (Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Bayer executives held a breakfast meeting Wednesday morning with reporters in the Gateway City, to discuss Bayer’s goals there.

Bayer crop science division president Liam Condon was asked if there will be layoffs. Condon tells Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders that it’s too early to talk about specifics of St. Louis area jobs.

“I can only re-emphasize again this whole deal was built on growth and innovation,” Condon says. “For sure there will be some changes, but we have people also moving into St. Louis because we have the global seeds and trades headquarters here.”

The employees transferring to St. Louis will be coming from North Carolina and Germany.

Condon says the new company brings together a state-of-the-art technology platform and the best talent in the agricultural space. He predicts it will benefit farmers, consumers and the planet, citing an emphasis on sustainability.

Bayer, which is based in Germany, closed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in June.

Bayer crop science division chief operating officer Brett Begemann tells reporters that farmers should expect no changes.

“And that’s been clear guidance from both companies as we’ve approached this exciting day, because we’re getting ready to go right into the season,” Begemann says. “And farmers across the Midwest and the south are already starting to think about seed purchases for next year.”

Bayer was given the green light last week to begin integrating Monsanto after completing the required sale of some of its crop science business.

In his 2017 annual report to stockholders, Bayer Chairman Werner Baumann described 2017 as a “year of ups and downs.”

Mr. Baumann notes unexpectedly high inventories in the crop science division in Brazil.

He also says sales and earnings in 2017 “remained only on a par with 2016.”

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